Assistant Professor of Psychology
Social Psychology

Olin Rice Science Center, 331


Morgan Jerald’s research examines sociocultural factors that influence Black women’s gender beliefs, sexual well-being, and experiences of sexualization. Drawing on theories and methods from social and developmental psychology, Black feminism, and communication studies, her research is guided by two central questions. First, how do the media act as agents of gender and sexual socialization for Black adolescents and young adults? She is particularly interested in how the media communicate messages about gendered, racial stereotypes to Black youth. Second, when Black women are aware that others hold stereotypes of their group, what are the consequences for their physical, mental, and sexual well-being? Dr. Jerald’s current work explores the impact of Black women’s awareness of negative sexual stereotypes (i.e., the Jezebel stereotype) on their sexual attitudes, sexual behavior, and experiences of sexualization. Dr. Jerald teaches courses on research methods and the psychology of race and gender.


BA: Spelman College

MS and PhD: University of Michigan

Selected Publications

Ward, L.M., Jerald, M., Avery, L., & Cole, E.R. (in press). Following their lead? Connecting mainstream media use to Black women’s gender beliefs and sexual agency. Journal of Sex Researchdoi:10.1080/00224499.2018.1554741

Stanton, A.G., Jerald, M.C., Ward, L.M., & Avery, L.A. (2017). Social media contributions to the strong Black woman ideal endorsement and Black women’s mental health. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 41(4), 465-478. doi:10.1177/0361684317732330

Jerald, M.C., Cole, E.R., Ward, L.M., & Avery, L.A. (2017). Controlling images: How awareness of group stereotypes affects Black women’s well-being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64(5), 487-499. doi:10.1037/cou0000233

Jerald, M.C., Ward, L.M., Moss, L., Thomas, K., & Fletcher, K.D. (2017). Subordinates, sex objects, or sapphires? Investigating contributions of media use to Black students’ femininity ideologies and stereotypes about Black women. Journal of Black Psychology, 43(6), 608-635. doi:10.1177/0095798416665967